“Gift Of Light” Awards Presented

The Paris Board of Public Utilities and the Historic Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association (HAPNA) have partnered on a Christmas outing that the entire community will enjoy. The neighborhood’s Fifth Annual Gift of Light runs nightly through Saturday, January 1, 2022.

“We are so happy to partner with HAPNA for this fifth annual event. These neighbors have done a tremendous job and the judges had their work cut out for them picking the winner,” said Paris BPU President and CEO Terry Wimberley.

Atkins-Porter President Rachel Terrell invited the community to drive or stroll through the historic neighborhood to “really get into in the Christmas spirit. And by all means, visit the display at the neighborhood’s botanical garden at 311 Jackson.”

Seven, award winners were chosen by out-of-town judges, and trophies were presented over the weekend by Wimberley, Terrell and a host of Atkins-Porter neighbors.

First-time winner Matthew Towne of 701 Alexander Street won BEST YARD with a beautiful array of lights, blow ups and a driveway outlined in lights. “The lighted tree trunks were stunning,” claimed on member of the group delivering awards.”

With several handmade items in her display, Donna Motter of 422 Walnut Street won the JUDGES FAVORITE.

The BEST PORCH award was presented to newcomers to the neighborhood, Jason and Krystel Bucher family of 312 Thompson St. Jason and his family just moved to the neighborhood this year. The family’s entire yard was decorated, but the festive porch is what caught the judges’ attention.

Barry and Ronda Hart of 507 Walnut were all smiles when they were presented their award for BEST RELIGIOUS DECORATION. Barry said that he likes that they just have the lighted nativity scene, with no other lights, “because that is what Christmas is all about.” Their 1950’s era blow mold nativity is from Ronda’s family and was used at the Avalon Restaurant which was owned by her parents, Bill and Macy Peery. 

After winning Judges’ Favorite last year, the Price family of 422 Whitehall Circle makes another appearance on the winners list, this year for the BEST HOUSE AWARD. Their glistening lights covered the roof, around the windows and more.

With several new additions to their displays, Heather and James Painter picked up the CLARK GRISWOLD AWARD. No strangers to this event, the Painters have new inflatables, music and over 30 Christmas trees in their display. 

“When asked how many Christmas trees she has in her display Heather replied, “Oh, I don’t know. I lost count. Thirty of more. There are a lot of them.” 

Judges named Dunlap Street, MOST APPEALING STREET, with large displays at several home, ranging from Santa on a rooftop, to beautifully lit trees, to a display that feels like the French Quarter in New Orleans.

With so much going on from elves, to an inflatable snowman being pulled by dachshunds, to little trees, to the fireplace and two large columns of packages beside the front door, Donna Motter of 322 Walnut Street was the JUDGES’ FAVORITE.  

“I’ve been decorating for Christmas for four years and add a little more each time. Aside from the blowups, I make just about everything myself,” said Motter. “The fireplace is made from cardboard boxes and plastic tablecloths and the large balls are made from two plastic strainers, lights and a little. ribbon. My neighbors liked them so much that I made them some, too! I even made the elves and the stars! I really enjoy it!”

2021 Historic Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association Christmas Lighting Contest winning addresses:

BEST PORCH – 312 Thompson Street

BEST YARD – 701 Alexander Street

BEST HOUSE – 422 Whitehall Circle

BEST RELIGIOUS DECORATIONS – 507 Walnut Street

CLARK GRISWOLD AWARD – 206 Blakemore

MOST APPEALING STREET – Dunlap Street

JUDGES’ FAVORITE – 322 Walnut Street

The neighborhood association also reminds Christmas light enthusiasts to visit LightUpParisTN.com also sponsored by Paris BPU to view lighting displays throughout the county.

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